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O-ring shelf life arp5316D

The arp5316d o-rings standard for elastomer shelf life

O-ring shelf life is the amount of 'storage life' generally understood as the maximum time (beginning with manufacture date) that an O-ring or elastomeric seal that is properly packaged and stored under specific conditions becomes unable to meet its original purpose.

O-ring elastomer shelf life is governed by SAE International Standard ARP5316D, that calls out all aspects of o-ring shelf life.

 Key elements of the ARP5316D standard include:

  1. Temperature - O-rings need to be stored below 100F (38C) and stored away from direct sunlight, and sources of heat (radiators, heaters, boilers), and above 59F (15C).
  2. Humidity - Relative Humidity shall be such the fluctuations in ambient temperature do not result in condensation.  If elastomers are not in moisture proof bags, ambient Rh should be less than 75% (65% for polyurethanes).
  3.  Light - O-rings and elastomers need to be shielded from direct sunlight, or lighting with ultraviolet content. 
  4. Radiation - Elastomers should not come into contact with ionizing radiation.
  5. Ozone- Care should be extended to protect against contact with ozone, or ozone generating equipment, or combustible gases/vapors.

The ARP5316D standard also addresses good practices for handling o-rings and elastomers such as stock rotation, contact with metals, liquids or other elastomers, deformation and stresses, duration of storage and discarding of seals.

The following are guidelines for common elastomeric compounds.  Call if you would like guidelines for a specific compound, as these are generic recommendations.  Here is a letter from Parker Seal regarding o-ring shelf life, and the ARP5316 specification, and a link to the Fluid Sealing Associations insight.

 O-ring Compound

 O-ring General Shelf Life per ARP5316D

 Butadiene Rubber NBR

 15 Years

 Chloroprene Rubber CR

 15 Years

 Fluorocarbon Rubber FKM


 Butyl Rubber IIR


 Silicone Rubber VMQ


Fluorocarbon Rubber FVMQ


 Perfluorocarbon FFKM


 Ethylene-Propylene EPDM


 Synthetic Rubber - Class 5 SBR

 3 Years

 Tetrafluorethylene/Propylene FEPM